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13.04.2012 Ethiopia


By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 13, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- PRESS STATEMENT

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 317th meeting held on 12 April 2012, was briefed by the Commission on the escalating armed conflict on the common border between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan. Council also listened to the statements made by the representative of Sudan. The Republic of South Sudan and the Inter‐Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) were represented at the meeting.

Council expressed its deep concern at the prevailing situation on the ground. Council expressed strong disappointment at the failure of the two Parties to implementthe Agreementsthat they have reached, under the auspices of the AU High‐Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), with the support of IGAD and the United Nations, particularly the Decision of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism of 18 September 2011, which, inter alia, established the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mission (JBVMM), and the provisions of UN Security resolution 2024(2011) of 14 December 2011, which mandated the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei(UNISFA) to support the JBVMM.

Council stressed the need for Sudan and South Sudan to implement, without delay, the tasks detailed in the 18 September 2011 Decision of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism and UN Security Council resolution 2024(2011).

Council stressed that the failure to implement the signed Agreements is a denial of the profound aspirations of the people of Sudan and South Sudan, as well as of the trust placed on the Parties by the region and Africa, which spared no effort to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), including the self‐determination referendum and subsequent independence of South Sudan.

Council strongly condemned the unfortunate and unwarranted actions that have characterized the conduct of both Parties over the past month, which run contrary to all AU and international principles governing relations among sovereign states. Council is dismayed by the illegal and inacceptable occupation by the South Sudanese army of Heglig, which lies north of the agreed borderline of 1/1/56. Council demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the army of South Sudan from the area. Council also demanded that the Government of the Sudan put an end to its aerial bombardment in South Sudan. Council stressed that both sides should make every effort to protect all oil infrastructures. Council requested that both Parties immediately comply with all the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Non‐Aggression and Cooperation signed by the Government of the Republic Sudan and the Government of the Republic of South Sudan in Addis Ababa, on 10 February 2012, including respect for their territorial integrity and the prohibition on either State from supporting opposition armed groups and movements within the other State.

Council reiterated its support to the efforts of the AUHIP, and called upon the Parties to meet under the auspices of the Panel to resolve this and all other outstanding issues, including nationality and status of citizens residing in the other state, in a peaceful way and in accordance with the overriding principle of establishing two viable states in Sudan and South Sudan. Furthermore, Council reiterated that there can be no military solution to the conflicts in the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states of Sudan. Only a genuine political solution based on respect for diversity in unity would bring about lasting peace and stability. In this respect, Council encouraged the AUHIP to remain actively engaged in the search for a political solution.

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